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The Nutcracker gets an action twist in latest Disney version

The Nutcracker, the beloved holiday season tale of toys that come to life, moves from the ballet stage to the big screen in an action-adventure story.

In Disney's The Nutcracker And The Four Realms, which is currently showing here, US actress Mackenzie Foy stars as 14-year-old Clara, a girl fascinated by engineering and trying to figure out how to unlock a Christmas gift left behind by her recently deceased mother.

She soon finds herself in a beautiful but troubled parallel universe where she encounters a nutcracker soldier, and they embark on a dangerous search for the key to Clara's gift.

"I think it really truly captures that spirit, that feeling of the holiday season, but it also has action and adventure and excitement," said 17-year-old Foy, best known for playing the daughter of Robert Pattinson's Edward and Kristen Stewart's Bella in The Twilight Saga.

The film is based on E. T. A. Hoffman's short story written in 1816 and Alexandre Dumas' retelling in the 1892 Tchaikovsky ballet The Nutcracker, which is now performed on stages around the world during the Christmas season.

Disney's version includes just a fraction of the ballet of a typical stage production of The Nutcracker.

American Ballet Theatre star Misty Copeland and Ukrainian dancer Sergei Polunin perform in a pageant for Clara after she arrives in the Land of Sweets.

FAIRY

Keira Knightley, 33, plays the Sugar Plum Fairy, who in the film does not dance but welcomes Clara to the Four Realms with her over-the-top sweetness and pink cotton candy hair.

The English actress, known for her historical period dramas, said she enjoyed taking on a different type of role.

"I have been doing work (where) the subject matters are quite serious," she said, "and it was very nice doing something that was totally silly (with) not an ounce of subtlety in it." - REUTERS

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